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December 13, 2012

Region F recycles

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by Nathan St. Clair/Concordian staff

Looking for a way to dispose of those old pesky Christmas lights?
Region F Solid Waste Management at Pioneer Trails Regional Planning Commission in Concordia has launched a pilot program this year to recycle used Christmas lights.

Region F Education Specialist Debbie Brackman said local citizens can bring their used Christmas lights to the Concordia Community Center. Behind the building, near the large recycling container, is a green container specially marked for the lights.

Brackman said Christmas lights are completely recyclable. The plastic coating can be stripped off, and the copper wiring and glass or plastic around the lights can be separated and recycled. Most types of Christmas lights are acceptable. However, pre-lit Christmas trees will not be accepted.

The container will be available for the lights until Jan. 11, 2013.

Brackman said Vintage Tech Recyclers in Riverside will recycle the lights. The company will pay 15 cents per pound of lights collected, and the money will go to the city of Concordia.

“We’ll see how it goes and if enough people use it, we’ll do it again next year,” Brackman said.

In addition to the Christmas lights, area residents can also recycle waste products at any time. Earlier this year, Region F worked with the city of Concordia to have a permanent container placed behind the community center. The permanent container replaced the former recycling program that took place once a month.

Brackman said the new recycling system has more than doubled the amount of trash local residents and businesses recycle. Under the old program, three containers were filled each month.

With the new program, Brackman said, eight containers are filled and hauled off each month. She estimates residents are recycling about one to two tons more each month.

The container is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

WCA Waste Corporation will accept paper, plastic, tin cans, cardboard, No. 6 Styrofoam, books and magazines in the container. Brackman said the products do not have to be separated when dumped in the container. WCA transports the waste products to Harrisonville where machines and a crew of people separate the items.

“I really think more people are getting on the band wagon because they don’t have to separate everything,” she said.

A few items not accepted include glass, aluminum, electronics, household hazard waste, garbage and plastic shopping bags.

“So far it’s a good program,” Brackman said. “It’s a program that is running smoothly and I think people don’t want to see it go away.”